18 February 2013

Tanzania: UDSM Hosts Arts for Change Course Participants

STUDENTS and teachers from Finland join their counterparts from Kenya and Zambia, on Monday, for a course at the University of Dar es Salaam.

The visitors from Centria and Seinajoki universities of applied science in Finland will join hands with local scholars together with those from the University of Zambia in Lusaka and Maseno University in Kisumu, Kenya, to share their knowledge and experiences of creativity in art for social change.

The five-day intensive course is part of an initiative by an international network, which is being sponsored by a co-operative in Finland, called UMODZI. It is part of a two-year link programme involving these five universities, known as the North, South, South, Network.

The University of Dar es Salaam's (UDSM), Fine and Performing Arts (FPA) Department and the Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA) in Zanzibar, have been selected to jointly host this first course entitled "Exploring Current Practices in Arts for Change and Development".

One of the two local participating teachers is Theatre and Film lecturer from the FPA Department, Dr Vicensia Shule. She told the 'Daily News' on Friday they have hopes of gaining a lot from the opportunities presented in this intensive course, from sharing experiences with these other four higher education establishments, where the practice of theatre for development has been very strong for many years.

"We also have the desire to situate this topic in the current environment, where it has a slightly different role to play, compared to when it was first introduced here in the 1970's," Shule added. She further explained that "Theatre for Development" is where communities use this art form, especially in its traditional African form, to address issues within communities when looking for solutions to problems within them.

This intensive course, she maintains aims to be a forum where they can share a diverse range of knowledge of creativity in art for social change. Shule further talked about their plan for this course to focus on ways to utilise the Arts for social change, through an intensive dialogue between the participating countries.

There will also be the opportunity for them to share their current challenges together by looking at ways their methods and artistic expressions are utilised in the various respective situations in their countries.

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